Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Travis Leslie to Remain a Dawg

Georgia's second 'Human Highlight Film' will play college basketball for at least one more season. The University announced today that Travis Leslie will pass up the upcoming NBA Draft and remain in college. The Bulldog's sophomore forward could have easily been the most improved player in the Southeastern Conference this year, and even bigger and better things will be expected from him next year. Now the Bulldog Nation will hold its collective breath until Trey Thompkins, another super sophomore, decides whether or not he will forgo his college career and enter the draft. The NBA decline for college underclassmen to declare for the draft is April 25th. Thanks Travis, we're glad you're staying around!

Matt Diaz: The Consummate Professional

Matt Diaz is not upset that Jason Heyward is the starting right fielder for the Atlanta Braves. Even though this revelation sends Matty back to a part-time or platoon type role, you won't hear the veteran outfielder complain. In fact, Diaz is excited about what Heyward brings to the ball club. He's also been playing for Bobby Cox long enough to know that the Braves skipper always finds a way to get his roster players playing time. With "Matty D" being the type of hitter who can really get hot at the plate and literally carry a team for a stretch, Cox always seems to get his guys who are on a roll into the lineup. No matter how this all works out for the four Braves outfielders, it's great to have a class act like Matt Diaz in your clubhouse. And not to worry, Diaz will play often and he'll play well.

Are NASCAR Drivers Really Athletes?

To the sometimes asked question, Are NASCAR drivers athletes, my answer would be that most of them are somewhat 'athletic'. Most of the drivers now work out to some extent, and that certainly hasn't always been the case. Unless you count them doing those "16 ounce curls" over the long history of the sport. I'm sure the young guys of the sport are into jogging, lifting weights, and/or some type of cardio workouts. But let's face it, it does not necessarily take an athlete to drive a race car (And no, I have never driven one in a race. Only occasionally on the interstate!). There have been some 'bellies' in NASCAR that made you wonder how they ever fit under a steering wheel. But the guys today seem pretty fit to handle the rigors of sitting on their rear ends for several hours on a Sunday afternoon. If you think about team sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, etc. you have to be in shape to compete. The same holds for individual sports like golf, tennis, track & field, etc. About as far as I can go with this debate is to give race car drivers credit for being athletic, but you're not necessarily an athlete because you're a race car driver. Skilled, yes most definitely. In shape to compete, no. The car is the only one of the two that has to be in shape to compete. But this is merely An Opinion On Sports !

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tom Verducci's Top 10 Teams

Tom Verducci has a list of his All-Time Top 10 baseball teams. Interestingly, only four teams from baseball's 'modern era' made in onto his list. Those four are the 1998 Yankees, the 1975 Reds, the 1961 Yankees (see Maris & Mantle above), and the 1970 Orioles. It is also intriguing that all those huge, big payroll Yankee teams of the 2000s failed to appear as one of Verducci's selections. The oldest team on the list is the 1902 Pirates who went 102-36 and never lost more than two games in a row. Talking about standing the test of time, this Honus Wagner led group is still considered one of the greatest more than 100 years later.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ernie Els: "Els For Autism"

Ernie Els has just won the rain-delayed Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill for his second consecutive PGA Tour victory. It's good to see the "Big Easy" playing well as the pros approach the Masters next week in Augusta. Els has three major championships in his portfolio, but his best finish in the Masters is the runner-up spot in both 2000 and 2004. But to touch on something more important than even major golf championships to Els is the fact that his young son Ben has been diagnosed with Autism. Now, the passion of Ernie Els and his wife Liezl, has been shifted to "Els for Autism", and its goal of building a 300 student school and research facility in Florida. The school will be called the Center For Excellence, and will be targeted to all aspects of autism treatment and study. He already has in place a Pro-Am golf tournament to help raise funds for the project, which is expected to run around $30 million. The tournament, just two years in existence, has already raised almost $2 million for the center. My best goes out tot Ben Els, as well as his families efforts in researching and treating autism. You're a class act, Ernie Els.

Fred Couples: What A Birdie Binge He's On...

Fred Couples is indeed a "Super Senior". Yesterday, he won the Cap Cana Championsip in the Dominican Republic for his third consecutive Champions Tour title in only four starts. He's the first player in the Tour's history to win 3 of his first four events, and the eighth Champions Tour player to win three straight events. Chi Chi Rodriguez set the record of four straight back in 1987. The 50 year old Couples had two stretches, holes 2 thru 6 and 11 thru 15, of five birdies in a row, and finished his Sunday round with eleven total. His earnings for the four events are $931,000, and we're not even into April yet! I would have to say that Couples is aging quite nicely, especially since he's playing some of the best golf of his career. That's a career that includes 15 PGA Tour victories, as well as a Masters championship. This week he will play the PGA Tour's Houston Open before heading to Augusta and another attempt at a green jacket. I hope he continues to play at such a high level. It would be great to see him high on the Master's leader-board all that week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jason Heyward: Number 22

Ladies and gentlemen, starting in right field and batting sixth for the Atlanta Braves, number 22, Jason Heyward. Get used to the sound of that because you'll be hearing it for a long time (except for the part about batting sixth in the order). Yesterday, the Braves ended the suspense of whether Heyward would open the season in Atlanta or in Gwinnett with the organization's Triple A club. Ponder no more Braves Fans. Heyward will be your everyday right fielder in Turner Field 'til death, or free agency, do us part. The kid can play, the kid is very good. He's hitting .366 for the spring with a .537 slugging average, with a .500 on base percentage in 41 at bats. We'll all enjoy watching this kid showcase his talent and abilities in Atlanta. The best is yet to come.

Nate McLouth: What's Up, Dude?

This spring, Nate McLouth is hitting a frigid .071, as a result of reaching base safely a measly three times out of 42 attempts. It is now so bad that the Braves have sent him to minor league games so he can get more at bats. This pre-season performance comes on the heels of a season ending 12 for 73 slump last year. Not a good run for a guy who has never even scratched the surface of being the player Atlanta expected him to be when they acquired him from the Pirates.
Braves skipper Bobby Cox is known to give his veteran players a lot of playing time to work through slumps, but in the case of McLouth, I hope Cox has him on a short leash. Newly acquired Melky Cabrera is waiting in the wings to play center field and bat in the lead-off spot.
After all, the season begins in eight days.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Urban Meyer: Your the One Who is a "Bad Guy"...

Urban Meyer accused a reporter of being a "bad guy". This label came after the reporter, Jeremy Fowler, published a quote made by Gator receiver Deonte Thompson. Fowler didn't offer his opinion, he just wrote what Thompson said. And for that, Meyer goes off on the guy and threatens him. Thompson referred to incumbent quarterback John Brantley as a "real quarterback", as opposed to former QB Tim Tebow not being a traditional style quarterback. Was Meyer actually taking up for Thompson, or was he still babysitting his true love Tebow? I select the latter reason. As a Georgia fan, I really try to respect Meyer as a coach with a darn good winning percentage everywhere he has coached. However, he really makes it hard for me to respect him as a person when he gives off the impression that he is above everyone and everything. I now think his talk of retirement was a hoax, his leave of absence was a farce, and his claims of stepping back and/or cutting down his areas of responsibility were merely rhetoric. He's either more emotionally healthy than he led everyone to believe several months ago, or his micro-management tendencies dictate and control the actions of his life regardless of the consequences. I think Urban Meyer is an out of control jerk. In fact it's hard to determine if he is in control at all. And I, for one, could care less.

Paul Hewitt: No to St. Johns; Buyout Next?

Much to the dismay of many Georgia Tech basketball faithful, Paul Hewitt has turned down an opportunity to be the head coach at St. Johns University. Hewitt, a native of New York, decided he would rather remain in the good ole South as opposed to returning home to coach. He has been the Jackets' head man for ten years now, and a lot of the alumni and supporters feel that he has overstayed his welcome. If Tech wants Hewitt out, it looks like they will have to pay that big buy-out clause in his contract. No one denies the fact that Hewitt can flat our recruit, but many believe his 'game' and 'floor' coaching leave a bit to be desired. In other words, the Techie Nation doesn't feel that the coach gets all the effort and talent out of his players. As a Bulldog, I kind of like the style of his underachieving hard court guys. Once UGA coach Mark Fox gets his talent up to par with Tech's, the Bulldog Nation believes Fox will have Hewitt for lunch. It might not taste so good, but won't that box score look Divine!

Kris Durham: From 8th Grade to UGA Practice

Kris Durham isn't making all his spring practice meetings on time. He's also coming in a little "over-dressed" for the meetings when he gets there. All of this is because Durham is doing his practice teaching this semester. He's an education major scheduled to graduate from UGA in May, and his student teaching assignment came up during the spring semester. So the UGA senior wide receiver reports to school at Oconee Middle School at 7:30 sharp and his responsibilities with his 8th grade students don't end there until 3:3o in the afternoon. Then it's a mad dash to the Bulldog practice facilities for spring drills. All of these efforts should prepare him well for the career of teaching and coaching to which he aspires. He's also found out that he wasn't getting away with as much as he thought he was back in his own 8th grade days!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New NCAA Eligibility Rule: Right or Wrong?

A new rule proposal would allow foreign athletes who have competed in professional sports but have not received compensation to be eligible immediately with colleges in America. This would do away with any waiting periods, suspensions or delays in the players playing status. The rule,if adopted, would go into effect August 1, with the University of Kentucky becoming the most immediate benefactor of the rule. The Wildcat basketball program recently received a commitment from Turkish big man Enes Kanter, who has played for a Turkish club team. The only problem I have with this is that U.S. college student/athlete who declares for a professional draft automatically becomes ineligible as a collegian at the time of his declaration. This is before he ever plays a single minute or earns a single professional dime. Why can't that same athlete have the option of declining his draft position and using up his college eligibility if he wanted to? The draft doesn't always work out for players the way they expected. I understand this illustration is not exactly the same as the new rule proposal, but it nevertheless is also a question of eligibility. Just something else for you to ponder...right or wrong.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The NFL Didn't "Flip Out" Here...

The NFL suddenly discovered that the team that wins the overtime coin flip goes on to win the game almost 60% of the time. Now, at least in the playoffs, the team that wins the flip must score a touchdown for the game to end on the first possession. No more short drives for makeable field goals. You now have to really earn the victory. This is a better way for the NFL to handle overtime games. I've never been a big fan of both teams not having a shot on offense after regulation ties. This plan is a big improvement. However, I still think the college game offers the best overtime procedure. Both teams have to play both sides of the ball well in order to capture the overtime win. Nevertheless, the National Football league has taken a lot of the chance of a coin flip out of determining the outcome of a ball game and put it back in the hands of the players and coaches.

Georgia State University Football

Georgia State University begins spring practice today focusing on the program's first "real" football game in September. In fact, GSU will play its inaugural game on September 2, 2010 in the Georgia Dome against Shorter. Bill Curry's Panthers will play a ten game schedule this fall that ends with a date with the Alabama Crimson Tide on November 20th. So the question is Georgia State, are you ready for some football? You better get ready!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Michigan: Will It Be 'Right at Night'?

Darkness will envelope the "Big House" on September 10, 2011. No, I'm not speculating that coach Rich Rodriguez will be run out of Ann Arbor that night. That is the date of the first night game at Michigan Stadium, and it will come against hated rival Notre Dame. (and that just about translates into hated by all!). But I digress. At any rate, 110,000 fans will grope about in the dark Michigan night looking perhaps for hope for a lost program. A storied football program filled to the brim with years of tradition. Traditions like Bo, 'Touching the Banner', the Victors' walk, and of course one of the most famous fight songs in all of college football. Heck, even Gisele Bundchen's husband played there. However, the thrill of victory has been lost in Ann Arbor and replaced by the agony of Rodriguez. Rich-Rod is an unheard of 8 and 16 at Michigan since he skipped out of West Virginia. One could say the natives are somewhat restless (yea, like Tiger Woods is somewhat unfaithful!). Again, I digress. The important thing is that it will be an historic evening when the Wolverines and the Irish meet in the night in 2011.The question is, will Rich Rodriguez be there among all that darkness?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Digger Phelps: You Need A New Gimmick

It's been several basketball seasons now that Digger Phelps has used the matching tie, matching highlighter trademark. In my opinion, that's several seasons too many. What's with that matchy,matchy anyway? Perhaps we should have a contest to nominate new ideas for Digger to enhance his identity. By the way, have you ever seen him actually USE the highlighter? I've never seen him 'highlight' with it, mark with it, or write with it. Heck, I'd love to see him at least throw it at Dick Vitale or Bobby Knight on occasion. But as it stands now, it's totally useless. Now it's time to throw it away. Enough, already.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rough NCAA Start For the SEC

Vanderbilit is upset at the buzzer, and Florida falls in double overtime in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The 13th seed of Murray State used a Danero Thomas 15 foot jumper with virtually no time left on the clock to send the 4th seeded Commodores packing back to Nashville.
Earlier in the afternoon, the 10th seeded Gators succumbed to Brigham Young, seeded 7th, 99-92. Even though Florida was the higher seed, they missed opportunities to win the game both at the end of regulation and before the first overtime expired. Not the start the Southeastern Conference was looking for. Heck guys, Mark Fox' Dawgs could have done this well. Just saying...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"We love ya, Cooz!"

On St Patrick's Day 1963, Bob Cousy rendered a tearful goodbye to the fans of Boston. On Bob Cousy Day during a twenty minute speech that was only suppose to last seven, Cousy became so emotional that he was forced to pause during his remarks. Through the silence, a fan yelled the now famous words, "We Love ya, Cooz!" There was not a dry eye to be found in Boston Garden certainly not with the "Houdini of the Hardwood". But after this "Boston Tear Party", Celtic fans sure didn't have much to cry about for a long time. Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Michael Moore: Getting "Moore" Out of UGA Pro Day

Former Georgia wide receiver Michael Moore did not receive an invitation to participate in the NFL combines, so Tuesday's Pro Day at UGA was important to him. He did not let himself, nor the scouts in attendance, down. He had good work-outs in all the events, even amassing 22 reps in the 225 pound bench press. Moore was in the top 10 of the combine results in the 40 yard dash, the broad jump, and the bench press. He also had a good day in the passing drills, turning his combine snub into a positive motivational ploy for Pro Day. Look for Moore to get selected in the NFL Draft sometimes after round three. He'll definitely be another Bulldog playing pro ball.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tiger Woods announcement today that he will play in the Masters next week in Atlanta did not surprise me one bit. And it should not have surprised you either. There is no way on earth Tiger Woods would miss playing in the Masters. Not this year, not any year. He would have quit sex therapy earlier, shortcut his marriage rehabilitation, and done anything he had to do to play at Augusta. I never felt at all that he would miss the Masters. Everything else is secondary to his playing for the green jacket. Everything. You could have bet the family farm on it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness: UGA Style

It's March Madness in Athens, Georgia. Translated, it means this spring is Mark Richt's biggest in his ten year career at Georgia. He has an almost completely new defensive staff, beginning with new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham from the Dallas Cowboys. With him, Grantham brings a totally new scheme to the Bulldogs , the 3-4 defense. Tack on new linebackers coach warren Belin from Vanderbilt, as well as new defensive backs coach Scott Lakotos from Connecticut, and you have only defensive line coach Rodney Garner as a hold-over from the previous staff. Players will compete for new jobs within the new defense. A lot of teaching and a lot of learning will be going on this spring. On the other side of the ball there is a three player competition for the starting quarterback job, two running backs who aspire to be Georgia's first tandem to rush for 1,000 yards each, and a somewhat thin but nevertheless talented wide receive corps. The Dawgs do return an experienced and deep offensive line group, and the aforementioned receivers do feature legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate A.J. Green. Expectations, as always, will run high with regard to the Bulldogs. It just begins in March. Such is the madness.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

University of O-No: Ducks Gone Wild!

How does that saying go: If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck? Man oh man, the hits just keep on coming for Chip Kelly's Oregon Ducks football program. Yesterday, Kelly suspended quarterback Jeremiah Masoli for the entire 2010 season. Wow, that is some heavy punishment. Masoli pleaded guilty to second degree burglary of the on-campus theft of two laptops and a guitar. (I suppose he could use to guitar to play the blues after all this!). Running back LaMichael James was also suspended for the Ducks season opener due to an altercation with his former girlfriend. (No small wonder she's his 'former' girlfriend)!). Placekicker Rob Beard will also sit out the September opener stemming from a street fight incident. The double whammy for Beard is that it appears he got his butt kicked in the street fight as well. (Remember to always win the fight if you're going to be suspended!). Don't forget, these are the same Oregon Ducks who saw running back LeGarrette Brooks serve a season long suspension last year after sucker-punching a Boise State player in the aftermath of their season opener. The Ducks are creating quite an image for themselves and their University as the new thugs of college football. If they recruit the cheerleaders in on their transgressions, they could become the modern day Bonnie and Clyde!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stephen Strasburg: A "Can't Miss" Kid

Stephen Strasburg might not start the year in the Washington Nationals pitching rotation, but when he is brought up to the majors, watch out for this kid. The Nationals number 1 pick out of San Diego State, pitched 109 innings last year in college with a 1.32 ERA. He recorded 195 strikeouts, while allowing only 19 walks. Sick! Strasburg has a four year deal that will pay him $15.5 million with a $7.5 million signing bonus. He is 6'4" and 220 pounds with an upper 90s fastball and a power curve. He will need to develop his change-up since he didn't need to throw it in college that much. The Nats hope his work in the minors will be quick and productive. For one, they aren't paying those big bucks for him to perform in the farm system, and secondly, they hope he can lure a fan base out of hiding in the nations capitol. Washington was third worst in major league attendance last year, drawing just over 23,000 per home contest. At least the kid won't have to stay in Washington but four years. When, and if, he does depart, there are a lot of politicians I hope he takes out of town with him!

Georgia Tailbacks: 2,000 Yards in 2010

The University of Georgia has had ten running backs rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. They have never had a pair of backs do it in the same season. That however is the 2010 goal of running backs Caleb King (L) and Washaun Ealey. Last season the tailback tandem combined for 1,311 rushing yards. As you can see, they have a long way to go. However, it is "doable" for the two. They will be running behind the most experienced offensive line at Georgia in several years. They are both talented runners who share the workload well together. They both now have game experience and are comfortable with the Bulldog offense. My biggest concerns for them are 1) can they both stay healthy for an entire season, and 2) will they get enough carries to pull off their lofty goal. In 2009, Ealey had 125 carries, while King ran the ball 114 times. Those numbers will definitely have to increase to the area of around 15 totes per game over the span of twelve or thirteen games for each back. Both guys believe they can accomplish the 2,000 yard plateau together. I would love to see it happen, because if the Dawgs are running the ball that successfully, then the scoreboard has gotta be looking good for us.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Trey Thompkins: First Team All-SEC

The University of Georgia has not had a first team All-SEC player in seven years. Well, that all changed today when Trey Thompkins was unanimously selected to the All Conference team. Jarvis Hayes earned that honor as a Bulldog back in 2003. Thompkins, a 6'10" sophomore, has not definitely decided that he will return to Athens for his junior year. He has a legitimate chance to turn pro if he should decide to do so. If he remains at Georgia for his junior season, it would be a tremendous positive for coach Mark Fox' young squad. He would definitely bring legitimacy to an up and coming program that Fox is building. Thompkins presence in Athens would help solidify Bulldog basketball as it takes the next step in becoming a Southeastern Conference contender. Just stay, Trey!

Carl Yastrzemski Topps Rookie Card

While looking through a list of 19 rare Topps baseball cards, I discovered that I have the 1960 Carl Yastrzemski Rookie Card shown above. I also have several of the other players shown like Mantle, Mays, and Aaron, but not the specific cards shown on this list. I'm not sure of the value of the Yastrzemski card, but it is kind of cool to own one of the cards that make up the nineteen.

Famous Streaks in Sports

Sports Illustrated Vault has an interesting segment on the most revered streaks in sports. In fact, they came up with 33 of them! When I hear the word "streak" as it applies to sports, I immediately think of Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak. To me, that is the epitome of a streak. If you looked up the term streak in Websters, the 56 of Dimaggio should be listed there.
Next, Byron Nelson's 11 consecutive PGA tour victories in 1947 has to rank right at the top. The 91 consecutive fight victories by Sugar Ray Robinson is also very impressive. When talking about team streaks, you have to mention UCLA Bruins basketball, the Boston Celtics, the New York Yankees, and yes, even the Atlanta Braves. The bottom line is, all streaks are impressive. Most will never be matched, but they always give individuals and teams lofty goals with which to aspire. What are some that stand out to you?

Zach Mettenberger: A Bump in the Road...

Georgia red-shirt freshman quarterback, Zach Mettenberger has definitely made a mistake. It is a mistake that will cost him, but it won't kill him. He has been charged with five misdemeanor charges related to underage drinking. Drinking too much, too late, and showing too little judgement. Mettenberger is in a three-way battle for the Bulldogs starting quarterback job, and this little incident will cost him at least a one game suspension. So I suppose we now have a two-way battle for the first game starting quarterback position. Georgia has had only one day of spring practice because the university system kids are on spring break this week, thus time for them to party and have fun. There's nothing wrong with that, unless you get caught with a fake ID or two and happen to be a quarterback candidate. He's not the first college football player to run into this negative situation, and he won't be the last. But he will have a price to pay, and how he handles that part of the deal will reveal what kind of kid he really is. He committed the crime, now can he do the time?

Ben Roethlisberger: Aren't You Tired of Getting Sacked?

Ben Roethlisberger's attorney says that Ben is innocent of the sexual assault claims of a Georgia College and State University coed. To clarify here for a moment, my attorney would say I'm innocent, your attorney would say you were innocent, O.J.'s would (did), etc. I'm not saying Roethlisberger is guilty, and I hope he is innocent. But come on Ben, quit putting yourself in these positions to be accused in the first place. You are a celebrity, so no, you can't just go out like the rest of us "Average Joe's". Like it or not, you are a target; there are traps being set for you out there. You have enough money to have a private party and invite whomever you want, just don't invite trouble. This is strike two for you, I believe. If you get past this one, don't tempt strike three. Learn from these 'near misses'. It might be time for you to grow up Ben.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Torrin Lawrence: One Fast Dawg

Georgia sophomore Torrin Lawrence has run the fastest indoor 400 meter time in the world this year. His 45.03 second sprint is also the third fastest in collegiate history. The world record is 44.57 seconds and was set back in 2005. Lawrence runs the difficult double of the 200 meter and 400 meter dashes, not to mention anchoring the Dawgs 1600 meter relay. To take this a step further, at most collegiate track meets, these three events all take place in the span of about one hour. Now that is pushing your body through some tough tests of execution and recovery. Lawrence also has recently been named to the watch list of the prestigious Bowerman Award. The watch list consists of ten student athletes who have two collegiate records and seven collegiate leading performances during the indoor track season. Don't overlook the point that this Jacksonville, Florida native is just a sophomore, and he's already becoming a household name in the 400 meter dash. A lot of good things are in store for this talented Bulldog.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Derek Lowe: Standing Tall

Derek Lowe says when you're 6'6", you don't need to pitch like you're 5'10"(he means no offense to all of you 'five-tenners' out there). He means he needs to pitch using better angles that his height allows. He pitched much lower in 2009, something he has worked on the entire off-season to correct. He has re-tooled his mechanics from setup to delivery.He says he isn't using one element of his pitching style this spring that he used last year. Lowe had his first outing of the spring Friday against the Nationals and worked two perfect innings. Two innings of spring work does not a season make, but here's hoping we all see a new and revamped Derek Lowe on the mound for the Braves this year. Be solid , D-Low.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jason Heyward: 1 Out Of 100

Baseball America has named Atlanta's Jason Heyward as the number 1 prospect out of the top 100 players rated. It is their opinion that Heyward has a great chance to hit .300 with at least 30 home runs. He is only 20 years old. But first Heyward has to have a complete spring training season and make the Braves major league roster. As for me, I believe he will be in the Atlanta starting line-up in right field when opening day rolls around. If that holds true, it is going to be fun watching this kid play the game. Opening Day for Atlanta is April 5th against the Chicago Cubs.

Georgia's "Spring Fling"

The Georgia Bulldogs Begin their 2010 spring practices this Thursday with all eyes on the quarterback position, and many eyes on the new 3-4 defense being installed. Red-shirt freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger will battle for the starting quarterback role along with junior Logan Gray. The red-shirts, of course, have no college game experience at the position and Gray has very limited playing time. I read a quote from offensive coordinator/quarterback coach Mike Bobo that was as follows: "You never want to start a year when you've got an unknown at the quarterback position...". Obviously, the Bulldogs will certainly begin the 2010 campaign with an unknown, inexperienced signal caller. I don't think it really had to be this way. There were times during the 2009 season when Logan Gray could have been used in 'meaningful' series, not mop up work. He could have gained a lot more valuable experience than he was allowed. Going further, I've never understood why we wanted the two freshmen on the same eligibility run. I believe one of the red-shirts could have been burned last year. I understand the argument against that being that Mettenberger wasn't ready and Murray was injured the first half of the season.. I still contend that one half of a season's experience would have been worth the spent eligibility for one of the freshman. But since all that is old news, I too look forward to the competition of the QBs. It will be interesting to see who leads the 'Dawgs out of the desert and into the land of milk and honey!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

NFL: Playoffs? Playoffs? Playoffs?

I'm reminded of the Jim Mora press conference where he goes off on the subject of playoffs, and keeps repeating the word "playoffs" in the form of a question. The National Football League is looking into a proposal to change the overtime format for playoff games. My first question is why just for the playoffs? The regular season games determine which teams make it into the playoffs anyway. If you're changing it for post season, adopt the same format for the regular season as well. The proposal by the league states that if the team winning the coin toss scores only a field goal, the opposing team gets the ball to try and match ,or beat, the 3 pointer. If the team with the ball first scores a touchdown, the playoff game would be over, just like the present format. Why not just say that each team gets to have the ball on offense at least one time? That way not quite as much would be riding on the coin flip, or relying so heavily on the element of 'chance'. The only exception to that would be in the case of a defensive score. Sounds simple enough to me...